Background/introduction Since opening a new clinic there has been high patient flow particularly at weekends. Even with adequate staffing and patients performing self-triage, waiting times sometimes exceed three hours. This frequently resulted in patient aggression towards reception staff, poor patient feedback about waiting times and staff complaints with incident reporting forms (IR1). In October 2014 – new software was introduced to improve patient satisfaction.
Methods Upon entry to the clinic all symptomatic patients were registered on the program which automatically sent a text message informing them of their place in the queue. They were then invited by reception staff to leave the clinic until they were sent another text when they were due to be seen. Patients in possession of a Smartphone could refresh a link to check their place in the queue at any time. IR1s and patient feedback were assessed before and after implementation
Results Average no of symptomatic patients seen over a weekend was 70 with an average wait time of 89 min. In the 4 month period prior to the software implementation there were 6 IR1 forms received from staff about patient aggression. In the 4 month period after its introduction there were none. Two months post its introduction the average number of patient complaints about waiting times received was 1 from an average of 4 prior to its use.
Conclusion The introduction of the queuing software has been an inexpensive and effective method of reducing complaints about patient waiting times and improving patient satisfaction with the service.
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